|Kevin Hardwick - District 10
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Closing of District Offices Will Save Taxpayers Money
(Williamsville, NY) – Erie County Legislators Lynne Dixon (12th District), Dino Fudoli (5th District) and Raymond Walter (4th District) join Legislator Edward Rath (15th District) as movers finished emptying his district office Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 11:00am. The legislators formally announce the closure of their Legislative district offices as well the rollout of a constituent service outreach program. "This past year, many of us campaigned on bringing real reforms to the Erie County Legislature, and we are keeping our promise," said Legislator Rath.
Closure of these five legislature district offices will save county taxpayers nearly $5,000 per month in rent and utility expenses and thousands more in service savings. This is the equivalent to the cost of three new playground sets in our parks or 100 new computers at our libraries every year. "This is the right thing to do. In a year when we will be asking department heads to cut spending and make tough choices, we are leading by example," said Legislator Kevin Hardwick, who never accepted a district office, saving taxpayers money from day one.
The Legislature's District Offices have long been the topic of debate between members, but now, for the first time, the debate has reached a point of action. "In the age of instant access to information, we have experienced a decline in the popularity and necessity of district offices," said Legislator Walter. He continued, "Certainly, being accessible in the neighborhood is important, but that doesn't mean I need a brick and mortar operation there." Legislator Walter and his colleagues have released, and continue to publicize, their district outreach schedules. These schedules provide the details of a citizen services outreach program that extends into nearly every municipality in Erie County, proactively taking services taxpayers pay for to the communities where taxpayers live.
"This is a program that respects the taxpayers' dollars and brings constituent services directly to them, at no additional cost. This is a win-win," said Legislator Lynne Dixon. "In a district as large as mine, it's impossible to have a district office that is convenient for everyone I represent," said Dixon. The newly announced outreach program brings the Legislator and knowledgeable staff into libraries, senior centers, and town and village halls across the County, rather than forcing the residents to travel to one location, which in some districts, could be a 30 minute drive. "District office closures bring the services you pay for closer and more convenient to you, and it also opens up prime real estate in our towns and villages for new business growth and development," said Legislator Dino Fudoli.
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